Gratitude List

  1. A terrific novel I just discovered
  2. My first Thanksgiving in a long time with family
  3. A safe drive home after a long weekend in Texas

This is my gratitude list for today. It’s short and sweet, but it’s a big part of my morning. In fact, it sets the tone for my entire day.

It was a little over a year ago when my therapist recommended a gratitude list. She told me to write down 10 things I am grateful for each morning. My first thought was “10 things?! I can’t even think of one thing I’m grateful for!”

Let me explain — I’m not usually such a ‘Negative Nancy,’ but I was not exactly in the most positive mindset at the time I was assigned this task. I was going through a break up, grief was threatening to swallow me and I was dealing with some issues at work. So, the last thing I wanted to do was make a list of all the things I’m thankful for. But I decided to give it a try anyway.

In the beginning it was tough. I literally would sit and look around my apartment for ideas to put on the list. Hot cup of tea to relax me. Check. My favorite TV show just dished out another episode. Check. My dog didn’t rip my tights with her nails. Check. Silly things, I know — but I was grasping for straws.

I started each day with my list. My favorite cereal on sale. Check. Sunshine after a rainy day. Check. NY and Company having a sale and it’s payday. Check and Check! Every day was a little easier. As the months went on, I began to make a conscious effort to recognize moments that I was grateful for. Throughout my day, as positive things happened, I would make a mental note to add it to my list the next morning.

Soon, I was breezing through my list. Some days I had more than 10 things! I started to smile more. I laughed again. I sent more silent “thank yous” up to God.

In the last few months, I started to slack off on my list. Life got busy. But I will tell you, I notice it. I actually miss making my list every morning. My therapist was right (aren’t they always?) — making that list, as small as it may seem, really does create a change in you. Focusing on the good in your life provides a different prospective, especially when all seems bleak.

So my challenge to you is this: Start your own gratitude list. It doesn’t matter if it’s three things or ten — just do it! I promise you, there is a LOT to be grateful for, even if it is just a cup of hot tea.

Share your gratitude list for today in the comments below!

Love,
L.

Choose Joy.

Have you ever woken up in a bad mood? Maybe you slept badly. Or you are hungover. Worse yet — it’s Monday. Oh — and it’s raining.

Yes, that kind of day.

The bad mood you wake up in can carry with you throughout the day. Unless, you decide to change it and choose joy.

It’s a decision.

A conscious effort you have to make every single day.

And it’s not easy.

But let me be the first to tell you, there are worse things that can happen to you than being hungover on a rainy Monday morning after sleeping badly the night before.

Choosing joy has been a mission for me these past few years. And I’ll be the first to admit, I have failed at that mission. A lot.

But in order for me to live, I need to choose joy. It’s not an option. It’s necessary.

This blog isn’t just for those who have lost someone and are dealing with the unbearable pain of grief. But if that is you, keep reading.

It’s for the person who is struggling to find the light in the dark.

The person who, for whatever reason, has lost hope.

I’m not a therapist and I don’t have a happy pill to make life better. But I can speak (and write) from experience that even when it feels like all hope is lost, there is a light.

And that’s what I plan to do with this blog.

To write what I feel, when I feel it, and pray that it will reach someone who needs to hear it. It’s a little terrifying to put your pain on paper and be vulnerable, but in my experience, it has only helped me in the process of my own grief journey.

Just like in my Facebook posts, what I write will be raw, real and honest. Some things will come from my everyday encounters. Other parts will be straight from the pages of my personal journal, to help you see that where you are now in your hurt and pain is not where you will be forever.

Thank you to my friends and family who gave me the encouragement to do this. Here goes nothing! #ChooseJoy

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Love, L.